Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578–1727

Columbia University Press, 12. nov. 2008 - 344 sider
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Traveling to archives in Tunisia, Morocco, France, and England, with visits to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Spain, Nabil Matar assembles a rare history of Europe's rise to power as seen through the eyes of those who were later subjugated by it. Many historians of the Middle East believe Arabs and Muslims had no interest in Europe during this period of Western discovery and empire, but in fact these groups were very much engaged with the naval and industrial development, politics, and trade of European Christendom.

Beginning in 1578 with a major Moroccan victory over a Portuguese invading army, Matar surveys this early modern period, in which Europeans and Arabs often shared common political, commercial, and military goals. Matar concentrates on how Muslim captives, ransomers, traders, envoys, travelers, and rulers pursued those goals while transmitting to the nonprint cultures of North Africa their knowledge of the peoples and societies of Spain, France, Britain, Holland, Italy, and Malta. From the first non-European description of Queen Elizabeth I to early accounts of Florence and Pisa in Arabic, from Tunisian descriptions of the Morisco expulsion in 1609 to the letters of a Moroccan Armenian ambassador in London, the translations of the book's second half draw on the popular and elite sources that were available to Arabs in the early modern period. Letters from male and female captives in Europe, chronicles of European naval attacks and the taqayid (newspaper) reports on Muslim resistance, and descriptions of opera and quinine appear here in English for the first time.

Matar notes that the Arabs of the Maghrib and the Mashriq were eager to engage Christendom, despite wars and rivalries, and hoped to establish routes of trade and alliances through treaties and royal marriages. However, the rise of an intolerant and exclusionary Christianity and the explosion of European military technology brought these advances to an end. In conclusion, Matar details the decline of Arab-Islamic power and the rise of Britain and France.


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Introduction 3
Accounts of Muslim Captivity in Christendom 29
Muslim Ambassadors in Christendom 72
Encountering the Dunya of the Christians 118
Translations 139
Letters of Radwan al Janawy on Muslim Captives in Tuhfatal Ikhwan Rabat National Library MS Kaf 154 fols 423424 427428 141
Christian Attack on Jarbah Tunisia in1510 in Sulayman ibn Ahmad al Hilati Ulama Jarbahed Muhammad Qawjah 3239 205
Bombardment of Tripoli Libya by the French Fleet in Ahmad ibn Khaled al NasiriTalʿat al Mushtari 22830 210
Battle Accounts in Taqayid TarikhiyahRabat Royal Library MS 12352 213
Euro Tunisian Piracy in Ibn Abi Dinar Kitabal Munis fi Akhbar Ifriqiyah wa Tu nis 190202 216
Letter of Mulay Ismaʿil to the English Parliament Les Sources Filalienne edBrissac 6349354 227
Letter from a Captive in France edJamal Vannan Nusu s wa Wathaiq fi Tarikh al Jazairal Hadith 15001830 144145 230
Letters of Bentura de Zari MoroccanAmbassador Under House Arrest in London NationalKew Archives SP 71166365 7071 En glish original 232
Letter of Mulay Ismaʿil to Philip V inMuhammad al SaghI r al IfranI Rawdat al Taʿrif edʿAbd al Wahab Benmansour 133134 236

Description of the Defeat of the Armada by Abu Faris Abd alʿAziz al Fishtali in Rasail Saʿdiyah ed ʿAbdallah Gannun 152157 144
A Journey from Morocco to Istanbul andBack in Abu Hasan ʿAli ibn Muhammad ibn ʿAliMuhammad al Tamjruti11 Al Nafhah al Miskiyah fial Safa...
Description of the En glish Attack onCadiz in Abu Faris ʿAbd alʿAzI z al Fishtali Manahilal Safa ed ʿAbd al KarIm KarIm 193196 159
Description of Pisa and Florence in Lunbanfi ʿAhd al Amir Fakhr al Din al Maʿni al Thani edAsad Rustum and Fuad Afram al Bustani 20822432 163
Expulsion of the Moriscos and the MiraculousRansoming of Muslim Captives in Al Muntasir ibn AbiLihya al Qafsi Nu r al Armash fi Manaqib al Qas...
Letters from Tunis by OsmanThomas dArcosa Convert to Islam Les Correspondants de PeirescLettres inédites publiées et annotées ed PhilippeTamize...
Letter About Muslim Captives Converted toChristianity Rabat National Library MS Jim 223101103 192
Expulsion of the Moriscos Muhammad ibnʿAbd al RafI ʿ ibn Muhammad al Andalusi Al Anwaral Nabawiyah fi Aba Khair al Bariyah in A TurkiWat...
Description of the World in Ahmad ibn QasimNasir al Din ʿala al Qawm al Kafirin ed MuhammadRazzUq 959962 200
On Quinine in Husayn KhUjah Al Asraral Kaminah ed al Karray al QusantIni 3143 237
Captivity in Malta in Abual Qasim Al Zayani Al Tarjumanah al Kubra ed ʿAbdal KarIm al Filali 192193 241
Muhammad ibn ʿUthman al Miknasi Falling inLove in Naples in Al Badr al Safir li Hidayat alMusafir ila Fikak al Asara min Yad alʿAduww alKafir R...
Letter from a Female Captive in Malta MuhammadRazzUq Dirasat fi Tarikh al Maghrib 178181 245
Notes 249
Bibliography 277
Index 301

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Om forfatteren (2008)

Nabil Matar is professor of English at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of a trilogy on Britain and the Islamic Mediterranean: Islam in Britain, 1578-1685; Turks, Moors, and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery; and Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689. He is also author and translator of In the Lands of the Christians.

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